Mt. Jefferson East Face - 3rd time not too charming
July 26, 2015

Somehow I didn't recall the East Face of Jeffersion being so scary with the snow off, from the first time I did it in 2002. Well, I think this is the last time I'll do it without snow all the way up the face. Hard to believe I'm actually 3-for-3 leading this route - time to take my winnings off the table!

Thanks to a strong and brave team, for pulling together to get us back safely through dislodged rocks up to 100 lbs on the East Face, and weather that started out beautiful on the face and gradually deteriorated over the day. It started snowing as I topped out. The clouds rolled in and it got very cold as we rappped off the summit on the SW rap line - rime collecting on everything including us, frozen ropes. Very glad that the 60M ropes just made it to the moat, allowing us to skip the lower rap station. The traverse to Red Saddle from the bottom of the rappels was easy and unexposed. Not so sure about the rest of the terrible traverse for the normal descent.

Arrived back at Red Saddle as sunset, just like last time, except this time we didn't get to see the sunset. As darkeness and fog descended, I had trouble finding the path down the right ridgeline, so we descended snow, ending up three gullies too far south. Mark Fowler took a tumble on wet boulders, furtunately only scrapes and bruises and a stiff neck from the forward roll. Down lower, Ann Ames slipped on the steep snow and slid about 100 feet, stopping in the scree and chipping a tooth.

With a few breaks out of the wind, we finally arrived at the edge of the Whitewater glacier just before dawn, and glad to be there. camp to camp, 27 hours round trip, a new record for me for a non-bivvying climb!


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